5 flower pot ideas – how to brighten up your garden with pretty planted blooms

How to decorate your flower pots and what to plant in them, according to gardening experts

A garden with a rattan garden bench and a flower pot on a side table in front of it
(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

One of the beauties of a summer garden is the possibility to decorate with blooming and colourful flower pots to inject colour and charm into your outdoor space. But if you’re not sure what flowers to plant, what pots to choose and how to make them even prettier, then we’ve got you covered with our 5 flower pot ideas.

These are not to be confused with garden container ideas. Even though the two are often used interchangeably, there is a distinction between them as Petar Ivanov, Fantastic Gardeners’ gardening expert, explains ‘a pot is generally smaller and round, while planters are usually outdoor containers of irregular size and can hold a variety of different plants.’

So now that we cleared that up let’s get flower planting in our garden pots as per our gardening experts’ tips and recommendations.

Flower pot ideas

Flowers are already beautiful in their own right, whether they’re growing in flower beds or cut stems in a vase decorating a dining table. But planting flowers in garden pots means you can move them around and adorn various corners of your garden. And if you don’t have a garden, potted flowers will thrive on a patio or a balcony just as well.

Petar Ivanov portrait
Petar Ivanov

Petar Ivanov is one of the company's top-performing experts and manages over six teams of gardeners, delivering stunning landscape results and fostering a deep connection with nature through his work.

1. Decorate your flower pots

A garden with a rattan garden bench and a flower pot on a side table in front of it

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

Who says you can’t get creative with your flower pot ideas? The possibilities are endless as anything can be turned into an upcycled planter idea for the garden. But you can also decorate pots you already own or buy some budget-friendly plain terracotta ones and let your creative spirit let loose.

‘You can generally use any material, for example, twigs, threads, moss, for flower pot decoration, which is a very inexpensive option. To attach them to the surface of the pot, use hot glue or waterproof adhesive, creating beautiful and organic designs of your liking,’ Petar suggests.

Alternatively, you can also paint your terracotta planters and create interesting or pretty patterns, from florals to stripes. ‘There's also the option to decorate flower pots yourself, especially if they're terracotta pots as these can easily be painted on. This could be a fun activity with the kids during the school holidays,’ says John Clifford, gardening expert at Gardenstone.

John Clifford
John Clifford

John Clifford is a director of Gardenstone, a leading garden landscaping retailer based in the UK. With over 30 years in the gardening industry and continual work alongside The National Trust, John has amassed an extensive range of gardening and planting knowledge. Alongside his younger son, John has built a strong reputation for Gardenstone as a trusted source for both high-quality garden products and expert gardening advice. 

2. Plant flowers that complement the colour of the pot

A patio with garden chairs and colourful cushions and a large blue flower pot

(Image credit: Future PLC/Caroline Mardon)

The pairing of your chosen flower or flowers and their pots should be a considered one so that both of their shades can pop and further beautify your outdoor space.

‘Plant flowers with colours that compliment the pot. For example, if you have a stunning blue pot, some white flowers could look lovely etc. Try to avoid clashing colours as it will make the pot look overbearing and will take away from the beauty of the flowers and the pot individually,’ John explains.

Colour is not that often considered in a garden as it is in interiors. But it’s just as important here.

3. Combine flowers of different heights

Striped sun loungers in the garden surrounded byh terracotta flower pots

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

Adding different dimensions to your flower pots by planting flowers of different heights will create further intrigue. Think of it as layering.

‘Plant a combination of tall, medium, and trailing plants in one pot. This will help to create layers and depth within the pot, which makes it look less sparse and more full and alive. Many people struggle to properly fill a plant pot, but as long as each plant has enough soil and space to grow healthily, they should be fine. Make sure to keep an eye on their growth and re-pot as the space fills up,’ John says.

Some of the specific flowers he suggests planting in your outdoor planters are lavender, geraniums and petunias, ‘Geraniums are hardy and come in a variety of pretty colours. Petunias are great for trailing over the sides of pots to build on leftover space. And lavender adds beautiful fragrance and does a good job of attracting important pollinators to your garden.’

4. Create a cluster of flower pots

A cluster of potted flowers in the garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Clive Nichols)

If you’re wondering how to arrange pots in the garden, may we suggest creating clusters of pots that complement each other?

‘Place pots together. Creating a cluster of pots of similar style or even contrasting style, will make a pot look less sporadic and more thought-out,’ John explains. And we couldn’t agree more.

5. Choose pots with drainage holes

A garden with a furniture set surrounded by flower pots and a green bush with bunting hung above

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

Root rot is no joke. And neither is waterlogging which is why choosing the right pot, not just a pretty one like a scalloped planter (even though we love these and if they happen to have drainage holes, then we say go for it), but rather one with drainage holes, is crucial to the health of your flowers.

‘Any pot should have enough drainage holes so that the plant roots get good air circulation and excess water can drain away easily so the plants don't retain too much of it,’ Petar says.

Similarly, lifting the pot off the ground with the help of pot feet like these terracotta pot feet from B&Q will help with drainage and air circulation. ‘air circulation under a container will contribute to the health of the plant's roots. Even if the raised pots are on stone, tile, or concrete, you won't be concerned about root rot. Lifting your pots a few inches is important,’ Petar concludes.

Have a beautiful blooming summer!

Content Editor

Sara Hesikova has been a Content Editor at Ideal Home since June 2024, starting at the title as a News Writer in July 2023. Sara brings the Ideal Home’s readership features and news stories from the world of homes and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more, focusing on all things room decor, specialising in living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, home offices and dining rooms. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.